Many people request to see a photo of Baha'u'llah, therefore, we have decided to provide one here as an authoritative body so people will know it is the genuine photo. For those who don't want to look at it, we've put this page first as a preview, so they wouldn't have to click the link at the end of this text.
No other photo of a Manifestation of God exists and this photo is therefore unique. It is important that we have this photo because it proves that Baha'u'llah existed. Two thousand years after Jesus Christ lived, many doubt he ever existed, they assume that he is just a literary creation. This photo provides evidence that the Manifestation of God, Baha'u'llah, existed so in the future people will know he was an actual historical figure.
Most of the other Manifestations of God have been deified and the revelations that God gave through them has become devalued and bankrupted into the petty worship of a "god-man". Thus in Hinduism, we see the worship of Krishna as a "god-man". In Buddhism, we see the worship of statues of Buddha as a "god-man"; and in Christianity as well, we see people bowing before statues of Jesus as a "god-man". Therefore this photo is not intended to be displayed in homes or public places or made into a shrine as it is not meant to be an obstacle to the worship of the One True Invisible God Who is an Infinite Invisible Essence, the Creator of the universe and everything in it - yet it is to be preserved as a historical record.
Islam avoided this problem by having no images of Muhammad at all; however, the historical benefit of the photo, showing the human temple if the manifestation is important. This is why we have chosen to provide this authentic photo for those who wish to see it.
If Christians today had an actual photo of Jesus of Nazareth, we could not underestimate the value of such a photo and its importance and historicity. The debate on the historical Jesus would cease while the understanding of the mechanism for Divine Revelation, which is the incarnation of the logos or divine word, would increase the education of all so the worship of the One True Invisible God could appear.
"The Logos existed in the very beginning, the Logos was with God, the Logos was divine." (John 1:1, Moffatt's)
The photo in no way provides a true glimpse into the depth of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah which is the Revelation of the Kingdom (Davidic), nor does it portray the true essence of the Manifestation of God which can only be perceived through the words that God wrote revealed through the pen of Baha'u'llah. Before viewing the picture, we recommend reading the following selections of the writings of Baha'u'llah to better understand the reality of the Infinite Invisible Essence exalted and preserved in its sanctity even above the inmost reality of the Manifestations of God Himself.
So perfect and comprehensive is His creation that no mind nor heart, however keen or pure, can ever grasp the nature of the most insignificant of His creatures; much less fathom the mystery of Him Who is the Day Star of Truth, Who is the invisible and unknowable Essence. The conceptions of the devoutest of mystics, the attainments of the most accomplished amongst men, the highest praise which human tongue or pen can render are all the product of man's finite mind and are conditioned by its limitations. Ten thousand Prophets, each a Moses, are thunderstruck upon the Sinai of their search at His forbidding voice, "Thou shalt never behold Me!"; whilst a myriad Messengers, each as great as Jesus, stand dismayed upon their heavenly thrones by the interdiction, "Mine Essence thou shalt never apprehend!" From time immemorial He hath been veiled in the ineffable sanctity of His exalted Self, and will everlastingly continue to be wrapt in the impenetrable mystery of His unknowable Essence. Every attempt to attain to an understanding of His inaccessible Reality hath ended in complete bewilderment, and every effort to approach His exalted Self and envisage His Essence hath resulted in hopelessness and failure.
How bewildering to me, insignificant as I am, is the attempt to fathom the sacred depths of Thy knowledge! How futile my efforts to visualize the magnitude of the power inherent in Thine handiwork - the revelation of Thy creative power! How can mine eye, which hath no faculty to perceive itself, claim to have discerned Thine Essence, and how can mine heart, already powerless to apprehend the significance of its own potentialities, pretend to have comprehended Thy nature? How can I claim to have known Thee, when the entire creation is bewildered by Thy mystery, and how can I confess not to have known Thee, when, lo, the whole universe proclaimeth Thy Presence and testifieth to Thy truth? The portals of Thy grace have throughout eternity been open, and the means of access unto Thy Presence made available, unto all created things, and the revelations of Thy matchless Beauty have at all times been imprinted upon the realities of all beings, visible and invisible. Yet, notwithstanding this most gracious favor, this perfect and consummate bestowal, I am moved to testify that Thy court of holiness and glory is immeasurably exalted above the knowledge of all else besides Thee, and the mystery of Thy Presence is inscrutable to every mind except Thine own. No one except Thyself can unravel the secret of Thy nature, and naught else but Thy transcendental Essence can grasp the reality of Thy unsearchable being. How vast the number of those heavenly and all-glorious beings who, in the wilderness of their separation from Thee, have wandered all the days of their lives, and failed in the end to find Thee! How great the multitude of the sanctified and immortal souls who were lost and bewildered while seeking in the desert of search to behold Thy face! Myriad are Thine ardent lovers whom the consuming flame of remoteness from Thee hath caused to sink and perish, and numberless are the faithful souls who have willingly laid down their lives in the hope of gazing on the light of Thy countenance. The sighs and moans of these longing hearts that pant after Thee can never reach Thy holy court, neither can the lamentations of the wayfarers that thirst to appear before Thy face attain Thy seat of glory.
(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings, p. 62-64)
I swear by Thy Beauty, O King of eternity Who sittest on Thy most glorious Throne! He Who is the Day-Spring of Thy signs and the Revealer of Thy clear tokens hath, notwithstanding the immensity of His wisdom and the loftiness of His knowledge, confessed His powerlessness to comprehend the least of Thine utterances, in their relation to Thy most exalted Pen, - how much more is He incapable of apprehending the nature of Thine all-glorious Self and of Thy most august Essence!
(Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations, p. 273)
Let no one meditating, in the light of the afore-quoted passages, on the nature of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah, mistake its character or misconstrue the intent of its Author. The divinity attributed to so great a Being and the complete incarnation of the names and attributes of God in so exalted a Person should, under no circumstances, be misconceived or misinterpreted. The human temple that has been made the vehicle of so overpowering a Revelation must, if we be faithful to the tenets of our Faith, ever remain entirely distinguished from that "innermost Spirit of Spirits" and "eternal Essence of Essences" - that invisible yet rational God Who, however much we extol the divinity of His Manifestations on earth, can in no wise incarnate His infinite, His unknowable, His incorruptible and all-embracing Reality in the concrete and limited frame of a mortal being. Indeed, the God Who could so incarnate His own reality would, in the light of the teachings of Baha'u'llah, cease immediately to be God.
(Shoghi Effendi, World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 112)